Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Palin’s Constitutional Ignorance

ABC News reports:

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama’s associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate’s free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

Utter ignorance. The first amendment prevents the government from punishing you for what you say. It does not mean that others, including the media, can’t criticize what you say. In fact, the first amendment presumes that criticizing and questioning politicians is so important that it is doubly protected, both under the free speech clause and the free press clause.

Being “attacked” for your statements not only does not violate your first amendment rights, it is an example of others exercising their first amendment rights. I would fear much more for the future of this country by the absence of media criticism than by its presence. Thomas Jefferson would agree:

The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

Perhaps at some point after the campaign is over, when Palin takes a 5 minute break from her reflexive and idiotic persecution posing, someone can tell her who Thomas Jefferson was.